Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 10-series GPUs for laptops have arrived, and if the first Pascal-equipped laptop in our lab is any indication, they’re formidable. Asus’ mighty ROG G752 OC Edition packs a GTX 1070 laptop GPU with 8GB of memory and an overclockable quad-core CPU. You also get 32GB of overclocked DDR4 RAM and an NVME PCIe SSD. along with a 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive.
This is a seriously high-end laptop that cuts no corners, and its $3,400 price reflects it. The good news here is that we’re not paying a premium over the US here. There’s no Nice Beaches Tax. Its closest rival would be a laptop like Acer’s Predator 17X, which has almost the exact same base specs and configuration, but includes an older desktop GTX 980 GPU.
Under the hood
The G752VS we tested is a moderate upgrade from its last incarnation and has a slightly better processor than what’s on the Australian market. Still, its hardware packs quite a punch.
The CPU on the unit you can buy in Australia is a Core i7-6700HQ but our unit had an i7-6820HK. Both are 14nm Skylake quad-core processors with hyper-threading, but the 6820HK has a 100MHz-higher boost clock of 3.6GHz and is also an unlocked chip. By default when under load, the chip will turbo-boost one of its cores to 3.6GHz, or two cores to 3.5GHZ, or all four cores to 3.2GHz. Asus provides software that lets you push further, though: You can boost one or two cores to 3.8GHz, or all four cores to 3.6GHz. For yet more oomph, you can manually tweak the values to get one core up to 4GHz.
The GPU upgrade from a GTX 980M to the brand-new GTX 1070 is the bigger deal: In our benchmark preview, the GTX 1070 walloped the 980M by 50 to 100 percent, depending on the test. These 10-series mobile parts are designed to perform at the same level as their desktop equivalents—there’s nothing cut down here. In fact, the GTX 1070 for notebooks actually has more CUDA cores than the desktop part (128, to be exact). It has a slightly lower clock speed than the desktop 1070, but the 38MHz difference is a moot point because the GTX 1070 for notebooks is overclockable.
With all this GPU muscle, you might be expecting one of the fancy new displays Nvidia said its 10-series GPUs would support, like a 120Hz panel, but that’s sadly not the case here. The G752 features a good old-fashioned 1080p display with “wide viewing angles” (aka IPS equivalent), a 75Hz refresh rate, and a matte finish. However, it does also feature G-Sync, so that helps make up for the panel’s lower refresh rate.
The ROG packs 32GB of DDR4/2,133MHz overclocked to 2,400MHz. You can up that to 64GB, but you should be doing some hardcore work to justify that outlay—32GB should be more than enough for 99.9 percent of enthusiasts. To upgrade down the road, you undo one captive screw on the bottom of the laptop to access two empty SO-DIMM slots, as well as the SSD and hard drive. An Intel 8260 card supports dual-band 802.11ac and Bluetooth.